While there are certain circumstances that will still require the use of strong medicine and sophisticated medical procedures, many options do exist for treating basic ailments our pets experience at home. They are simple. They are effective. They are cheap. Often times they are safer when compared to the side effects of drugs. They eliminate stressful trips to your vet’s office.
However, in cases of fever, vomiting, uncontrolled diarrhea, your pet’s condition worsens or does not show improvement within 48 hours, take your pet to your vet immediately.
Home Remedies for your Dogs Digestive System
Pets are always eating something they shouldn’t or too much of something that in smaller quantities would be fine. What goes in must come out! While certain digestive problems are serious such as the explosive, watery diarrhea from parvovirus, many digestive complaints can be taken care of right at home.
- Yogurt. Tastes great, readily available and great for the digestive tract. Just as yogurt supplies us with the good bacteria necessary for proper digestion, it does the same thing for our pets. You want to make sure that you have a product stating it has live cultures. Live acidophilus supports the good bacteria and keeps the bad bacteria in check. Yogurt should also be used anytime antibiotics are given because antibiotics are not selective for bad bacteria so it will also alter the good bacteria. By keeping the balance up between good and bad bacteria with antibiotic use, you will help prevent secondary urinary tract infections.
- Kaopectate. Also, a product that is readily available and a staple in most homes. Kaopectate works by binding to the toxins that are triggering diarrhea.
- Canned Pumpkin. Helps to firm up loose stool naturally and dogs love the taste of it. Add a couple tablespoons to their food at dinner time.
- Metamucil. Contains fiber that helps get the digestive tract moving again.
- Fresh Vegetables. Also, contain fiber to assist the digestive tract.
Loss of Appetite
Chicken Soup. Helps stimulate appetite. When our pets get sick, often times they lose their appetite. When they don’t eat, they don’t get the nutrients necessary to help their bodies heal. You can drizzle it on their food or give them a couple teaspoons at a time if they aren’t eating anything. Dogs find it hard to resist chicken soup. Scientifically, chicken soup has been shown to slow the action of cells called neutrophils. Neutrophils are responsible for inflammation when they head towards the infection. To help control infection, add garlic to the chicken soup. Garlic kills bacteria and viruses.
* If your pet’s symptoms worsen or do not show improvement within 48 hours, call your vet immediately.
Home Remedies for your Dogs Skin
The skin on your dog is its largest organ. It’s the first line of defense against disease from bacteria and viruses. Keeping it intact and healthy is important. Often times other disease processes manifest themselves through the skin. The following remedies are easy, simple and effective for many skin problems.
- Water. Yup, water! A cool bath helps to soothe irritated skin
- Oatmeal. Often seen in shampoos and conditioners manufactured to help soothe irritated, itchy skin. However, you don’t need to buy an expensive product to get the benefits of oatmeal. Take your Quaker oats, put them in a cotton sock and run water through it.
- Tea Bags. Hot spots on our dogs can easily be treated by moistening a tea bag and applying it to the spot. The tannic acid in the tea acts a natural astringent. This will help the spot to dry out and start healing.
- Oils. Olive oil and safflower oil are great for treating dry skin, chapped noses, and cracked pads
Vinegar (acetic acid). Wonderful for treating skin problems associated with yeast growth, dandruff, and oily hair coats. Pour on a gauze pad and dab onto the area. Apple cider vinegar is a natural solution for cleaning and rinsing out ear canals.
- Ammonia. Just dab some on the area irrigated by the bite or bee sting. It doesn’t smell great but it works great
- Water also works great for bee stings and ant bites.
Inflammation / Painful Joints
- Cold Packs. Cold is a wonderful anti-inflammatory associated with sprains, strained and overworked muscles. It works by helping blood vessels to constrict. When this happens, less fluid is able to get to the area thereby reducing the inflammation. Inflammation is a significant cause of discomfort at the injured site. There isn’t extra room for fluid so it presses on the irritated tissues causing discomfort. You can purchase an ice pack or simply use a zip-lock bag with ice and water. I always double bag them just to be certain there aren’t any leaks. Leave the cold on for 10-15 minutes. Periodically check under the cold pack to be certain it isn’t too cold. Repeat every 2 hours as needed.
- Hot Packs. Heat is great at decreasing muscle spasm and relieving pain from arthritis and overused joints. Use a hot-water bottle wrapped in a towel to prevent overheating. Just as with the cold pack, you will need to periodically check under the heat pack to be certain it isn’t too hot